Seems everyone enjoys a nice, warm bowl of stew. Toss in some vegetables, spices, a little dog meat, pig’s blood, cow’s feet … wait, that’s not your secret recipe? Believe it or not, those unsavory items are the key ingredients in some very popular stews around the world. They might seem unsavory by American and Western standards, but you can find recipes for all of the following stews online.
5. Mocoto (Brazil, Portugal)
The key ingredient in mocoto: cow’s feet. When most Americans think of eating parts of a cow, they think steak or hamburger. But cow’s feet are a popular menu item in many parts of the world. Honestly, if you’ve eaten a few beef hot dogs, you’ve almost certainly eaten cow’s feet.
4. Dinuguan (Philippines)
Take some offal, such as the ears, heart, snout and intestines of a pig, and simmer everything in some pig’s blood. In fact, dinuguan means “stewed with blood” in a popular Filipino dialect. The recipe on Food.com sums up the thoughts of many, but urges everyone to be open-minded: “This may sound bizarre or even disgusting to some people since it uses edible pork blood … but many cultures use blood as an ingredient (i.e. European blood sausage, British black pudding) so don’t knock it before you try it!” Since the recipe calls for liberal amounts of garlic and chili, you might forget what you’re eating.
3. Zuurvlees (Netherlands, Belgium)
Take some horsemeat, marinate it in apple cider or vinegar for at least 24 hours. Add some caramelized onions, then apple syrup to sweeten the taste. Serve it up with some French fries on the side. Although the traditional Dutch recipe for zuurvlees (aka zoervleis) calls for horse, you can also use venison, lamb, mutton or pork. The dish is similar to sauerbraten, the traditional German stew that also traditionally calls for horse.
2. SOB Stew (United States)
Yes, an American dish. It is not very appealing to modern tastes, however. And this stew is certainly better known without the “SOB” abbreviation. Or you can call it son of a gun stew. Most recipes for this traditional cowboy meal call for calf offal — or the internal organs, entrails, even muscle and bone, of a butchered calf. Hey, cowboys were a hungry lot back in the day, and it’s not like they could order take-out pizza. Food.com wisely warns, “You need to know your guests’ tastes before serving this. It’s good, usually, for a stag party, either a crowd of sportsmen or card players.”
1. Bosintang (Korea)
Americans love dogs. Americans own around 70 million dogs, and many consider their canine pals like children. So don’t look for the Korean dish of bosintang (key ingredient: dog meat) to ever become a trendy culinary dish in the U.S. To be fair, many Koreans are appalled by the prospect of boiling Rover or Lassie in bosintang (aka gaejangguk), and the centuries-old Korean practice of eating dog meat has drawn fierce international criticism. Still, some Koreans believe this dish increases male virility, which partly accounts for its popularity.